LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Anyone anticipating a return to normalcy in the Kentucky Derby got a dose of crazy on Saturday when an 80-1 shot came charging up the rail to win at Churchill Downs.
As favorite Epicenter and Zandon engaged in a duel at the front, Rich Strike stole the show with the second-biggest upset in the Derby’s 148-year history.
The chestnut colt beat 4-1 favorite Epicenter by three-quarters of a length. Zandon finished another three-quarters of a length back in third.
“I about fell down in the paddock when he hit the wire,” winning trainer Eric Reed said. “I about passed out.”
Rich Strike paid $163.60. Only Donerail in 1913 had a higher payout of $184.90.
“What a crazy Derby,” said trainer Kenny McPeek, whose horses finished eighth and ninth.
Rich Strike wasn’t even in the Derby until Friday when Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas scratched Ethereal Road, making room for the chestnut colt that had just one previous win in his career.
“We found out about 30 seconds before the deadline on Friday,” owner Rick Dawson said. “It put us in the race and really we always felt if we just got in we’ve got a shot.”
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